The Castlegar Sports Centre caters exclusively to fly fishers of all ages and skill levels from novice to professional and children are always welcome. Fly fishing the Columbia River for rainbow trout and walleye is a very popular trip from mid-March to November, as is small lake chronomid fishing in the spring. The Sports Centre also fish for bull trout and whitefish and offer guided trips on most of the local lakes, rivers and streams twelve months of the year.
A typical trip begins at the Sports Centre Fly Shop. Depending on the season, hatches, and target species your journey may begin as early as daybreak or as late as noon to ensure optimal fishing conditions. Customers normally supply their own gear and should dress accordingly for the weather. Your gear will be checked to ensure it’s suitable and a a fishing license can be purchased if you do not have one. You will then be shuttled to the launch site that offers the best fishing. Most often you will fish from a 16-foot Jon boat with 30 horse motor for spot-to-spot fishing, although a 15-foot and a 16-foot drift boat may also be used. Each boat can accommodate 2 fly fishers and the guide, but when more than one boat is needed the Sports Centre employs three additional licensed guides.
On the Columbia River you will be catching homegrown wild rainbow trout. These are not hatchery fish; they are big, hot, ballistic fish that go wild when hooked. They jump, thrash, and run into the current. Most will hit your backing, but when you hook into a 12-30 inch rainbow your reel will sing as 100 yards of backing gets stripped off in 10 seconds. You and your gear should both be prepared for the fight. Your guide will coach and mentor you when needed and point out the abundant wildlife along the way.
On the Columbia you often see massive sturgeon, bears, waterfowl, beavers, and families of fat otters that also enjoy the great fishing. Eagles and ospreys can be seen nesting along the river and taking fish. One trip turned into a rescue mission when an eagle’s talons got stuck in a 5-6 lb rainbow that was too big to carry. Mid-way into the trip lunch and non-alcoholic drinks will be provided.
If you are fishing the mid-summer months you will see the most amazing caddis hatch you will ever experience. As evening nears the rainbow begin to rise marking the start of the feeding frenzy. With each passing minute the activity increases as the Columbia erupts with bugs and fish trying to get as much food as they can. Fishing is good throughout the day, but most visitors are blown away by the caddis hatch. You will catch hot, wild, ballistic fish and you will have stories to tell. After 8 hours your fishing expedition will end and you will then be shuttled back to the Castlegar Sports Centre & Fly Shop.